Abstain 101 & its many misconceptions

Well @furiousanger Thank you for your response. I understand your concerns regarding the potential misuse of the abstain button, but I still believe that removing it entirely is not the solution. No one must be left out of the voting process. ‘Abstaining’ is a legitimate option for voters who may not understand or have the time to research it thoroughly. Removing the abstain button may discourage these individuals from participating in the voting process at all, which could ultimately lead to a less representative outcome. To prevent voters from misusing the ‘Abstain’ button I think the DAO could focus on educating voters on the importance of informed voting and encourage them to abstain only if they truly feel it is necessary.


Hi Apboatt,

Another side of my argument is about the effect of seeing millions of abstain votes - do they have an impact on the voter at the time of voting - I think the number of people you reference (those without time or understanding) are possibly very low in number or at least that’s what we want to see? We don’t want the majority of people voting to have no time or understanding of a proposal. And I would also suggest that the number of complex AIPs is very minimal, and in those instances, it falls on the AIP author to explain in easily understandable wording (‘English’ as the term goes) for maximum responses.

You also mention education and communication - we lack this - in its absence does it not therefore make sense to encourage people to do their own research and put in the effort to understand what is in front of them?

When I as a voter see millions of abstain votes, without prior knowledge or context as to why, I assume the AIP has an issue and I follow suit and/or vote NO, I feel there are deeper questions here we are missing - psychological effects - new entrants are especially at risk - we are all privileged here with, let’s call it, ‘insider knowledge’, most will know zero history on voting and/or abstain details re SC and stewards etc. So although I agree education and dissemination of info would help, it is not a valid counter imo, as we have neither currently.

Great stuff. All valid points and it’s great we have these opposing views. :handshake: :handshake:


Furious gives me too much credit, and I’d like to clear up a few things.

I apparently needed educating myself because when I voted In Favor of “Abstain” as an option I presumed those votes would count. In other words a pass would still require at least 50% In Favor including Abstain. I believe that’s how it “should” be, especially for major costs initiatives or fundamental alterations to how the DAO operates. The new Working Groups is an example.

We can’t be consistent and say Abstain is an important and inclusive voting option, that we value transparency, and then hide it entirely… and I’m tempted to post this in all-caps, 40-pt font:

There is no mandate whatsoever, nor is it ethical, to arbitrarily hide the Abstain totals.

None. Period. That’s an AIP if desired. Maybe authors should have the option of whether there is an Abstain option on their votes?

No one “has to” abstain. If they choose to, that’s their choice. Whether it should be made known in the case of Stewards or SC… I have no opinion.

FWIW, I have no problem with people lacking info voting Abstain. I welcome it, since arguably ill-informed or uncertain people voting definitively one way or the other is one of the most dangerous and existential threats IRL.

Do we really want to support, pay for, and take risks for initiatives that a vast majority of voters can’t be bothered to express an opinion about, no matter the reasons some may have? Does that sound like a successful formula to anyone?

There’s a LOT of confusion around “Abstain” and what its purpose even is. Obviously, as evidenced by this very thread and several others like it.

I’m not the only one who presumed incorrectly, or is confused on the purpose. Others have said things like “I abstained by delegating my vote to so-and-so.” That’s not abstaining when so-and-so is biased. Example: I abstained voting for myself for President but delegated my votes to my mom to vote for me.

And there’s nothing wrong with implementing an idea then stepping back and asking whether that’s really the result intended or what people thought they’d get when voting. Rather, it’s a great show of strength and discussions such as this have high value no matter the result.


Voting ‘abstain’ is not the same as having no opinion. Abstain can (and imho does, in most cases, outside of DAO reps who want to stay neutral) mean that “hey, I’ve read it, am not against it, but also don’t fully understand the benefit OR am not the target audience that would benefit, so I’ll let that audience determine the outcome.”

My fantasy book was the perfect example of that. Most thought it was cool. But many just don’t read fantasy. So they abstained to let the target audience decide.

So abstain in no way only means “I can’t be bothered to have an opinion.” It can be “this AIP doesn’t apply to me, but I can see how it can be good for others, so I’ll let those others vote on it.”


Fair points. I think a high % of Abstain is also “I don’t want to draw attention by voting against and then maybe lose goodwill for my own clout / AIPs, and maybe it’s failing anyway so by voting Abstain I can lay low.”

We’ll never know, and it’ll vary item by item.

What we must know is what the purpose truly is and whether we’re OK with major, fundamental initiatives passing with a fraction of the vote - sometimes with most of it cast by people with a vested interest:

Let’s not keep repeating all Stewards / SC always abstain. Their votes made up a large % of votes In Favor of the new Working Group proposal, which is likely to benefit some of them very considerably since incumbents typically win reelection.

That’s OK as far as it’s within the rules. I don’t begrudge them that at all or suggest they don’t deserve it. It’s simply not Abstaining literally or in spirit to “abstain” by giving votes to someone that’ll vote In Favor anyway.


You’re not wrong, but also people can use clean wallets for voting if they’re afraid of this. So I guess they’re choosing not to? dunno. Either way this is a tiny % of voters imho.

Eh, I think this is an unfair conclusion. If I vote abstain, it means I’m not against it hard enough to vote Against. If it’s a major/important initiative, I have a really hard time seeing how most would vote Abstain. I think we must have some faith in the voters, ideally same exact faith as we have in ourselves as otherwise it’s “I’m smarter than thou” path, which ain’t good.

So if there’s some bad major proposal, I’m quite convinced that most of those Abstain votes will become Against (or In Favor, if they think it’s the greatest idea ever).

1 Like

Hi mate,

You make so many good points here - much appreciated as always, LFG.

I agree “confusion reigns”, (I permanently am in that category) - maybe until we can ‘define’ certain fundamentals, the rest becomes irrelevant until then?

I will also agree that it’s a good thread idea (lol) - even if say at some stage we simply extract great data from it, will have been worth while.

Clarity, lots of work, reflection, more assessment plus continually moving forward is the tl;dr I think we have here.

After speaking with you directly maybe we are getting somewhere for the future - we pray - as this is certainly a hot topic currently.

:handshake: :handshake: :handshake:


I have simplified the idea and also changed to HIDE from REMOVE.


These are much bigger discussions to be had. So for now I’d like to propose the above alternative solution until these discussions have taken place, and at such time, if necessary, submit another.


agree on hiding it from the total results


Hiding it from final results would be better than removing it. As abstain will show/indicate that voters might be either not well informed yet which gives the the AIP proposer a chance to explain further in detail or understand the proposal that most voters are either still unsure / clueless / neither agree or disagree on the the AIP . Overall the idea of having Abstain has more pros than cons




I adjusted it very recently after receiving some super helpful tips, making it more precise.



Hi Justzb,

TY for commenting - yep, I think hiding solves my concern, and at the same time allows for continued analysis and discussions on the broader meaning and use cases of the abstain vote button itself.




Thx for accepting constructively :+1: :pray:


I’m trying. TBH, I didn’t fully appreciate the complexity of the construction process. Presenting a thought in it’s most basic and simple form is very difficult. I for one love to embellish my sentences and go off at tangents. Hats off to people who do these day after day, it’s an art form, new found respect ngl.

I started with a jumbled rambling, and now I think I have a simple idea that makes sense with the least amount of words.




Brevity is a virtue fr fr

1 Like

No worries all good . We all can always bounce ideas and brainstorm together


What evidence do you have that the SC accounts for “multiple millions” of votes?


Hi Chris,

Thanks for jumping into this thread. Yes that may be proven to be over the number, but without confirmation I’m unable to adjust.

I did ask Vulkan to compile a list of what each SC member owns (and controls), but he was unable to provide those details. I asked Gerry and he was also unable to provide the details, (but was happy to give details of his own holdings). I had sent a friend request to BoredG to get more details, but it was at the weekend, so I assumed he is away, am now just awaiting that contact and hope it will be more fruitful.

As of right now, I’d say the evidence that is easily visible, is what “we” have. I will hopefully present a completed table containing all SC members apecoin holdings and any delegated votes they control in addition (if applicable) etc etc, very soon.

Snapshot ABSTAIN results:

Vera controls 258K (minimum).
Yat controls 1.5 million (minimum).


As soon as I have the data confirmed I will present it here.



Name Apecoin Held Apecoin Delegated Apecoin controlled Totals
Vera 285,000 285,000
Gerry 20,000 20,000
BoredG 0
Yat 1,500,000 1,500,000
Alexis 0
TOTAL 305,000 0 1,500,000 1,805,000

This is all I have at the moment.

1 Like


Having reached out to members of the Special Council, I am going to stick to my original approximation - SC controls Multiple Millions of APECOIN - (until proven otherwise all we have to go on are the almost 2,000,000 posted above owned/controlled by Yat, Vera & Gerry).

If anyone can corroborate these numbers or argue against them, I’d be happy to potentially adjust my statement at some stage, but for now am confident this is the case.

1 Like